Germany Won’t Hand Over Patriot Air Defense Systems to Ukraine: When a missile landed on Polish territory in November, in what was initially believed to have been a Russian strike against Ukraine, the German government offered to send a Patriot missile defense system to the country to protect against further attacks.
In the days that followed the strike, which killed two Polish citizens in the village of Przewodow, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg suggested that the strike was most likely the result of an errant Ukrainian missile accidentally landing in Poland.
Kyiv denied the claims, but the Patriot defense missile offer from Germany stands and appears to be moving ahead.
The offer caused some controversy, however, when the leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, suggested that the missile system should be placed in Ukraine.
The idea was backed by other Polish political figures, but Germany doesn’t agree.
In a Twitter post on Tuesday, Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak expressed disappointment that the German government did not agree with Poland’s position on the matter and confirmed that the Patriot system would not be placed on Ukrainian soil.“After talking to [Germany] MON, I was disappointed to accept the decision to reject the support of [Ukraine],” Błaszczak wrote.
“Placing the Patriots on the western [Ukraine] would increase the security of Poles and Ukrainians. So we proceed to working arrangements regarding the placement of the launcher in [Poland] and connecting them to our command system.
German officials insisted that the offer to send a Patriot system to Poland was never intended as a form of aid for Ukraine and that the weapon is part of NATO’s integrated air defense and should only ever be deployed on NATO territory.
Spat Complicates Already Difficult Relations
Speaking to the New York Times, Jana Puglierin, the Berlin director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, said that the relationship between Poland and Germany has been “deteriorating for years” and that it is “peaking now and doing real damage.”
“There is a gap emerging between Europe’s east and west, old Europe and new Europe. And that’s beneficial only for Vladimir Putin,” Puglierin said.
The matter is more than a minor disagreement, too. Law and Justice leader Kaczynski regularly criticizes Germany for siding with Russia, accusing the country’s government of being too afraid of confronting the country over the war in Ukraine.
However, Germany has a point. Not only are Patriot defense systems extremely advanced, but they would also have been operated by German soldiers – and the deployment of weapons operated by NATO soldiers onto Ukrainian territory would certainly be seen as an escalation by the Russian side.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.